April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the pinwheel is the national symbol for preventing child abuse in the same way the pink ribbon represents breast cancer awareness. Boy Scout troop 638 planted the pinwheels in the shape of a heart this year at St. Mary’s Hospital to help raise awareness about child abuse. They joined others close to home and around the state in a national program sponsored by Idaho Children’s Trust Fund.
For two decades, market research consistently has shown that the public views child abuse and neglect as a serious problem. The mission of Prevent Child Abuse America, which was founded in 1972, is "to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation's children," their emphasis is to transform that awareness into action. We have that opportunity through the pinwheel, which reminds everyone of childlike notions and stands for the chance at the healthy, happy and full lives all children deserve.
According to Prevent Child Abuse America, when we invest in healthy child development, we are investing in community and economic development. Unfortunately, children are sometimes exposed to extreme and sustained stress like child abuse and neglect, which can undermine a child's development. Research estimates that implementing effective policies and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect can save taxpayers $80 billion per year. The cost of not doing this is measured in increased costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment and law enforcement, as well as loss of individual productivity and expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education and the justice system.
“Any parent or caregiver who is becoming increasingly frustrated with the child’s behavior should reach out. There are people or agencies to call who are in a position to help,” said Cheri Holthaus SMH Community Relations Coordinator. “Idaho Careline is a program of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; it is a free statewide community information and referral service; dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588. To get emotional support from a trained advocate and become empowered and a stronger parent call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-427-2736. Also SMH is a resource and is staffed 24/7, just asked for someone in the OB department. No one should feel alone and unsupported.”
“I would like to thank Boy Scout Troop 638, their Troop Master; Shari Chaffee and Committee Member; Brad Berdoy for taking their time to plant the pinwheels for us this year,” said Holthaus. “These boys are very active in our community and this was one more project that they helped out with; if you are interested in supporting this troop please contact Shari Chaffee at 962-3559.”
Scout Master-Shari Chaffee, Drew Cochran, Blaze Berdoy, Anthony Karel, Carson Schmidt, Tate Berdoy, Hunter Chaffee and Scout Committee Member-Brad Berdoy after planting pinwheels in the shape of a heart at the Hospital for the Pinwheels for Prevention (of child abuse) program. Photo by Cheri Holthaus.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 638 placing the pinwheels in a shape of the a heart. Photo by Cheri Holthaus.